COVID-19 has changed homebuying practices, and for some buyers, it has impacted their homebuying decisions.
According to Lomardo Homes, buyers’ desired features have shifted as the pandemic has continued. In May 2020, buyers’ most important features were the floor plan, storage space and outdoor living of their future property. By October 2020, the top feature was kitchen size, followed by room size and bedrooms. With all of the additional time at home, buyers are realizing the importance of personal space.
But buyers have to move quickly. About 40% of properties listed have gone under contract in less than two weeks. Most buyers are feeling the pressure, as 77% said they think competition in the housing market has increased since COVID-19, while 73% said a home has gone off market before they were able to schedule a showing or make an offer. Fifty-three percent of buyers said COVID-19 sped up their homebuying process, while 73% said they had to compete with other offers. PAR’s Welcome Home survey found that Pennsylvania buyers reported a greater urgency during this time because of lower inventory. However, 63% said COVID-19 drove them to lower their budget, on average, by $28,400. Yet, 82% said they would go over their budget for their dream home by, on average, $31,000.
On average, consumers reported looking at seven homes before making a decision, taking up about 3.5 months of time searching. Buyers are relying more and more on online searches to find homes. In May 2020, 51% of buyers said their Realtor® or agent found homes for them to look at, 38% found them online and 11% drove by. In October 2020, 65% of buyers found homes online to view, 32% relied on their Realtors® and only 3% drove by.